Achieving work-life balance in the hybrid contact center

Hybrid working has become the norm for contact centers across the UK.

Thanks to cloud-based contact center solutions, like Puzzel, customer service teams can now take calls, manage interactions, and collaborate with colleagues from anywhere. Managers can also work from anywhere, with cloud access to all the tools they need to monitor calls, track performance, and make real-time service changes.

This was a huge step forward for the industry, given that just 4% of contact center agents in the UK worked full-time remotely before the pandemic. [1]. He brought a number of advantages for employees, including:

– Less time and money spent on travel

– More freedom and autonomy

– Increased flexibility to work around personal commitments

In turn, companies also benefit from:

– More employee engagement and retention

– Increased productivity

– Reduced real estate costs

But when it comes to improving work-life balance, there’s still a lot to do.

The challenge of work-life balance

Simply allowing employees to work from home does not guarantee them a better work-life balance. During the pandemic, many home workers have actually said working longer hours than usual and struggling to ‘shut down’ at the end of the day, leading to high rates of burnout and attrition in some industries [2].

Remote work removes the physical boundary between employees’ personal and professional lives. This makes it easier for them to work overtime and skip breaks, which can lead to poor long-term mental health. So, as a contact center manager, it’s important that you understand these challenges and set clear expectations for your staff.

Four Ways Workforce Management (WFM) Can Help You

A workforce management solution (WFM) can help you facilitate a healthier work-life balance for your employees in four ways:

1. Agent self-scheduling

Agent Self-Scheduling is a feature of WFM that allows agents to submit their availability and work preferences to managers, request shift changes, swap shifts with co-workers, and manage their vacations via an entrance. This not only reduces your administrative costs, but gives agents greater control over their work schedules and work-life balance. Research shows autonomy is one of the top motivators for workers [3]so it’s a quick win for you and your staff.

2. Monitor membership in real time

If you manage a remote team, you cannot physically see your staff at work. This means you can’t see if they’re working during breaks or if they need help. However, with a WFM solution, you can monitor adherence in real time to ensure agents are on schedule. You can see what each member of your team is doing compared to what they should be doing according to their schedule, and therefore when staff are working overtime, skipping breaks or needing help.

3. Improve forecasting and planning

Forecasting and planning are key when it comes to agents’ work-life balance. Accurately forecasting contact volumes throughout the day and planning schedules accordingly will allow you to meet customer demand and provide the best experience for your agents.

Forecasting and planning used to be an arduous process that required cross-analysis of spreadsheets from multiple communication channels, but now WFM programs can automatically generate forecasts using historical data directly from your center omnichannel contact. With the right WFM solution, you can generate accurate forecasts and plan optimal schedules to ensure your contact center is always staffed efficiently, while reducing agent overtime.

Puzzel is Europe’s leading provider of cloud contact center solutions. Every day, more than 1,100 organizations in 40 countries use our software to deliver intelligent customer experiences, combining the powers of people and technology to serve customers efficiently, effectively and with empathy.

The Puzzel platform enables organizations to create rich journeys for their customers, with a mix of live and self-service experiences that give people the freedom to choose when, where and how to get help. Artificial intelligence is leveraged at every touchpoint to automate tasks, deliver insights, and personalize service and support. Puzzel also includes a suite of productivity and planning tools to enable managers and agents to achieve their goals and continuously improve performance. With over 20 years of industry experience, Puzzel is the CCaaS provider organizations trust when every moment counts.